George Galloway interviews Andy Worthington on UK knowledge of torture on Guantanamo detainees for Digital Radio.
I don't know that there is anyone on this planet who knows more about what went on at Guantanamo than independent journalist Andy Worthington, and that includes those inside the administration. Through incredibly hard work, diligence and a mountain of FOIA information, Andy has been chronicling this deepest, darkest chapter of American history.
Andy has written a book, The Guantanamo Files, that I am reading now and on which I will be hosting a book chat in the very near future. I can't lie, it's taking me longer to read it than it should, because I have to keep putting it down. There's not a chapter I've read that I haven't wanted to scream, "This should never have happened! This is not what a democratic country does! NOT IN MY NAME!" It is a detailed and unblinking look at not only a strange mixture of fear and incompetence, but of real evil as well. Indeed, Andy Worthington has been instrumental in documenting just what a legal black hole Guantanamo is:
My life as a full-time chronicler and analyst of Guantánamo and the “War on Terror” began with the 14 months I spent researching and writing my book The Guantánamo Files, which (with additional chapters published online) tells the stories of the 779 prisoners who have been held at Guantánamo throughout its eight-year history. I then began writing articles following developments at Guantánamo, helping to spread the word through various websites, and am delighted to report that my website now receives an average of 150,000 page views a month.
My thanks to all who have discovered my work, and especially to those who follow it on a regular basis. Three months ago, despite stalling and compromises on the part of the Obama administration, I thought that we were at least still proceeding in the right direction, but the last few months have proved me wrong, and have demonstrated that a huge amount of work still needs to be done. This is where your help — reading my work, helping to get it out to other people and providing financial support to enable me to keep spreading the word — is so important.
The one-year deadline that President Obama set for the closure of Guantánamo has passed, those who oppose the prison’s closure appear to have gained the upper hand in an ongoing propaganda war, and the administration has made numerous fundamental mistakes: failing to provide new homes on the US mainland for cleared prisoners who cannot be repatriated because they face the risk of torture, reviving the Bush administration’s reviled Military Commission trial system, and insisting that it has the right to hold some prisoners indefinitely without charge or trial.
With widespread indifference in the mainstream media, my mission — to educate people about the terrible mistakes that have been made, and the human cost of those mistakes — continues, not just with regard to Guantánamo, but also in researching the “ghost prisoners” of the CIA’s secret detention program (whose whereabouts are largely unaccounted for), exposing the baleful history of the prison at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, calling for accountability for those who made America a “Torture Nation,” and exposing British complicity in torture and the injustice of my home country’s own anti-terror laws.
In the last three months, I have updated my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, produced an annotated version of the first ever Bagram prisoner list, and published five articles listing all my work in chronological order, as well as reporting the stories of the prisoners released from Guantánamo, reporting on their habeas corpus petitions in the US courts, exposing right-wing lies and misinformation, and the spinelessness of many Democrats, and criticizing the administration for its inability to place principles above pragmatism.
Andy is currently seeking donations to help continue his important work. Please donate if you can. But if that's not possible, I urge you to considering purchasing Andy's book, The Guantanamo Files, in advance of our book chat. It's an excellent read, if a bit harrowing and should make for a very lively book chat.